Sweden brought Ikea and H&M to the world, and the country’s capital is packed with equally innovative shops, glass-walled art galleries, and stylish boutiques. But it’s the quiet beauty that gives Stockholm an edge over its Scandinavian neighbors. Water surrounds you at every turn, and trafﬁc-clogged streets are practically nonexistent. Instead, canals and pedestrian bridges connect the 14 islands that make up the city. Each isle is distinct in character and mood: there’s shopping in posh Östermalm; narrow, historic streets in medieval Gamla Stan; and a thriving bohemian culture in Södermalm.
Rocking until the wee hours of the night at Sturehof, a three-story restaurant/bar/concert venue known for its hipster patrons and local band performances.
Checking out the Vasamuseet, a maritime museum built around a meticulously reconstructed boat that was shipwrecked in the 17th century.
Dining a rich dish of creamed meatballs and potato purée in the regal Operabaren, the Art Nouveau dining room at the Stockholm Opera House.